Official engagements to resume this week

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    Jan 27, 2016- After a long hiatus, meetings of bilateral mechanism between Nepal and India are set to resume, beginning with a meeting of energy secretaries this week.

    With the exception of the meeting co-chaired by ambassadors from two sides at BP Koirala Foundation in Kathmandu last month, all the other scheduled meetings and engagements were cancelled due to the strained relations between the countries.
    Senior Foreign Ministry officials said that energy secretaries of two countries are meeting in Kathmandu this weekend to discuss the prospects of power exchange, import and export, infrastructure enhancement, among other important agendas. Pradeep Kumar Pujari, power secretary of India, is flying down to Kathmandu for the meeting with his Nepali counterpart Suman Sharma.
    The first meeting of the power secretaries was held in India last year fixed the mandate as per Power Trade Agreement between Nepal and India. The meeting also discussed on power projects undertaken by the Indian private firms and decided to hold a meeting with the Pancheshwor Development Authority in Kathmandu.
    Also cancelled were a secretarial level meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee (IGC) scheduled in September; a joint secretary level meeting of Joint Committee on Water Resources (JCWR) and a meeting of Nepal-India Bilateral Consultative Group on security issues.
    “The dates for the meetings had been fixed in India, but were cancelled due to situations on the border,” said the Foreign Ministry officials.
    But, with the easing of essential supplies from the border, these meetings will be held one after another and set the tone for Prime Minister KP Oli’s upcoming visit to India.
    “Our immediate priority was to resume essential supplies, including of fuel and medicines. Holding these meetings would have made little sense before resolving the standoff with India,” said one official.
    Nepal is also planning to participate in the third meeting of Nepal-India Joint Commission–the highest bilateral mechanism between the two countries, the officials said. Indian Minister for Foreign Affairs Sushma Swaraj had proposed for a December meet when she met her Nepali counterpart Kamal Thapa recently.

    Energy secretaries meet in Kathmandu this weekend to discuss prospects of power exchange, trade, infrastructure building

    Source : The Kathmandu Post